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Best Public Universities in Sweden for International Students: Application Process, Eligibility, Cost & More


Institutions in Sweden are as old as the 15th century and have a long running history of excellence. Public universities in Sweden work independently from the Government and have the autonomy to decide the courses to be offered, curriculum, admission standards and a lot more. Sweden public universities for international students award degrees from the authority given to them by the Swedish Ministry of Higher Education. Sweden is home to around 24,400+ international students as of 2019-20.

Universities in Sweden offer over 60 bachelor’s and 900 master’s degrees taught in English. Education in Sweden is quite cheap compared to other European countries which brings international students to apply to universities in Sweden. However, Sweden is yet to gain the status of being one of the top choices of international students when it comes to studying abroad. In this blog, we shall discuss Sweden public university list, application process, admission requirements, cost of studying, etc.

Table of Contents:

  1. Why Study in Sweden?
  2. Top Public Universities in Sweden
  3. How to Apply to Public Universities in Sweden?
  4. Admission Requirements for Public Universities in Sweden
  5. Documents Required for Applying to Public Universities in Sweden
  6. Cost of Studying in Public Universities Sweden

Why Study in Sweden?

If you are considering applying to public universities in sweden for international students, take a look at the top reasons to study in Sweden:

  • Top universities: In the QS World University Rankings 2024, 8 universities from Sweden have ranked among the top institutions worldwide. Universities in Sweden have been able to attract a significant number of international students in recent years which was around 14,000 students in 2010-11 and 24,400 students in 2019-20.

  • English-taught programs: Language is not a barrier when you want to study in Sweden as all programs are taught in English. This also means you do not have to be proficient in Swedish language to get admission or struggle following what is being taught in class.

  • Affordable education: The Swedish education system is known for providing education at affordable rates. Students in Sweden are also provided financial support through scholarships awarded by the universities and Government. Benefits of the scholarships directly apply towards tuition fees and cost of living.

  • Career prospects: Universities in Sweden work in close association with the industry and students get the opportunity to undergo internships. A professional working in Sweden can expect to earn somewhere between 11,400 SEK to 201,000 SEK per month depending on the level of education, profession the person is engaged in and the years of experience. Sweden is also home to large companies such as Ericsson, H&M, Volvo, IKEA, Spotify, etc. that open doors of opportunities for graduates.

Suggested: How to acquire post study work permit in Sweden?

Top Public Universities in Sweden

Sweden is home to 38 public universities out of which there are around 14 public universities and 17 public university colleges. Besides these, there are independent institutions in Sweden such as the Chalmers University of Technology that are run by various organizations or foundations. Included in the list of public universities in Sweden are not only universities but university colleges.

Note: For those who don't know the difference between the two, university colleges focus on vocational training and offer programs in subjects related to science, engineering, natural sciences, etc. and are usually smaller than universities.

Let us take a look at the list of public universities in Sweden and their QS rankings:

Name of University

QS Rankings 2024

Lund University


KTH Royal Institute of Technology


Uppsala University


Stockholm University


University of Gothenburg


Linkoping University


Umea University


Some Other Public Universities in Sweden are:

Also know about: Best universities in Sweden to pursue Masters

Now that we have discussed the Sweden public university list, we shall understand how to apply to public universities Sweden for international students?

How to Apply to Public Universities in Sweden?

The process to apply for Sweden public universities for international students is simple and straightforward. International students can apply through the centralized application portal for Swedish universities through Applications are accepted twice a year for the Spring and Autumn semester starting from mid-August and mid-January respectively.

The steps to apply to public universities in Sweden for international students are:

  1. Complete the application on You will have the option to apply to multiple universities and courses using a single application.
  2. You will have to create a user account on and rank your selections very carefully.
  3. The next step will be to gather documents related to your previous education and prepare them for submission.
  4. An application fee of 900 SEK is applicable for non-EU/EEA students.
  5. You will have to submit documents showing proof of your citizenship.
  6. Submit your applications within the deadlines specified as not all universities entertain late applications.
  7. After you have completed the application, it will be forwarded to the respective universities for evaluation.

The next point to be discussed is the admission requirements for top public universities in Sweden:

Admission Requirements for Public Universities in Sweden

There are general and specific requirements that students need to fulfill to get admission to top public universities in Sweden. Here we shall take a look at the general admission requirements for public universities in Sweden.

  1. Academic qualifications
  2. English language proficiency requirements
  3. Entrance test scores
  4. Work experience

Let us take a look at each of the requirement for admission in detail:

Academic Qualifications

If you are seeking admission to bachelor’s degree programs in Sweden you must successfully complete your high school or upper secondary education. For admission to masters in Sweden which are regarded as second cycle programs, you need a completed bachelor’s degree equivalent to Swedish kandidatexamen.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

The general English language requirement for admission to bachelor’s degree programs is Swedish upper secondary course English 6. Master’s level programs require Swedish course English 6. This is equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no section below 5.5 or equivalent on other tests.

Entrance Test Scores

Admission to graduate level programs may require GMAT/ GRE scores. However, it is possible to apply for an MBA in Sweden without submitting entrance test scores.

Work Experience

A minimum work experience of 2 years is recommended for admission to MBA in Sweden. Some institutions may also ask for up to 5 years of work experience for applying to MBA colleges in Sweden.

Documents Required for Applying to Public Universities in Sweden

Universities may ask for evaluation and translation of documents not issued in Swedish or English language. In addition to the documents mentioned below, program-specific documents may have to be submitted.

Discussed below is a list of documents required for applying to public universities in Sweden for international students:

  • Transcripts from high school/ college
  • School leaving certificate for applying to bachelor’s degree
  • Proof of degree for applying to master’s degree
  • English language proficiency test scores
  • Recommendation letters
  • Letter of motivation
  • Updated CV
  • Personal essay
  • Copy of passport
  • Financial documents

Suggested: What is the IELTS score requirements to study in Sweden?

Cost of Studying in Public Universities Sweden

A lesser known fact about studying in Sweden is that until 2011, no tuition fee was charged from any student in Sweden. Even today, there is no tuition fee charged in public universities in Sweden for EU students. The tuition fee at public universities in Sweden for international students varies for different universities and is usually higher for programs in Architecture and Business. The average cost of living international students in Sweden is 8,568 SEK per month.

We shall discuss the average tuition fees for various levels of programs for public universities Sweden:


Average Tuition Fees

Bachelor’s degree

75,000-110,000 SEK/ year

Master’s degree

80,000-150,000 SEK/ year


80,000-295,000 SEK/ year

Social Science and Humanities

80,000-110,000 SEK/ year

Technical and Natural Sciences

120,000-145,000 SEK/ year

Architecture and Design

190,000-295,000 SEK/ year

Education in Sweden prepares you with a global perspective and in-demand skills that can help you go a long way in your career. Since there are quite limited international students studying in Sweden, it means there is a lot of potential and abundant opportunities for students there. So if you are considering public universities in Sweden, go ahead and apply as an ocean full of exciting opportunities awaits you!



Frequently Asked Questions About Public Universities in Sweden

Which is the cheapest public university in Sweden?

Is education free in Sweden for international students?

How many public universities are there in Sweden?

Do you need to know Swedish to study in Sweden?

How much does it cost to study in public universities in Sweden?

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